Playing in her first WTA Final, Jabeur was a set and a break up at 4-1 in the second. Her aggressive returns undoubtedly helped her claim an early lead. However, signs of fatigue started to show once the match passed the two-houe mark. The Tunisian, who had battled through qualifying, handed Kasatkina a pivotal break which turned the tides in the Russian’s favor.
And incredible battle by two incredible athletes! pic.twitter.com/ojBayHW42P
— WTA (@WTA) October 20, 2018
Last year’s runner up Kasatkina turned on the style in the tiebreak. She claimed four straight points to force a decider. The crowd witnessed emotional seen as Jabeur served the last game with tears in her eyes”I saw you gave everything today and this is what sport is about,” Kasatkina told Jabeur.
Darina Kasatkina ended a run of three losses in finals. Her previous victory was at Charleston in 2017. Interestingly enough, Russian competitors have won four of the last five women’s Kremlin Cups. The only exception came last year when Julia Goerges bested current champion Kasatkina.